Amar'e Stoudemire

Originally published in SLAM 89

Maybe it was the box score. That’s Amar’e, on his way to 44 and 16 in what would end up a 127-119 loss to the suddenly unbeatable Warriors in early April. But what’s that? Adonal Foyle, on his way to doubling his season average with an 8-point night, was also on his way to a game-high 17 boards. That couldn’t have made STAT happy, but could it drive him to this? No, there had to be more…

So maybe it was about the money. Amar’e’s still on his rookie contract, making about $2 mil a year. That’s not bad, but then there’s Adonal. Thanks to an offseason deal that apparently pays him $425,000 for every successfully set screen, AF is due $6.5 mil this season. If you were Amar’e, you don’t think that would sting? Yeah, but still…

Or, just maybe, this was about the kids. Word is that the new CBA will feature a minimum-age requirement, meaning a kid like Amar’e—whose high school career is Exhibit A in how adults with screwed-up priorities can almost ruin a young man’s life—wouldn’t be able to salvage his future by skipping college, even if he was ill-prepared for life as a student-athlete, and if a shot at financial independence was all he really needed. Yeah, that sounds right. Amar’e, doin’ it for the kids.

If you saw the game, you know this is one of two times Amar’e banged on Adonal. Guess he just wanted to emphasize his point.

Ryan Jones